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Mark your calendar: Alison Krauss & Union Station
This week, Alison Krauss & Union Station released their first album in seven years

None other than Robert Plant turned up in Savannah last week. During a break from his current cross-country tour with Band of Joy, the Led Zeppelin legend visited the Owens-Thomas House, explaining to those who asked that he was a history buff, just a simple tourist checking things out.

Plant has been quite the outspoken supporter of the group Band of Horses, which happened to be playing the Johnny Mercer Theatre that very night. But from all reports, he didn't attend the concert; he most certainly did not perform with the band.

This is a long way around to the point of this column, which is to announce that Alison Krauss - with whom Plant made the stunning Raising Sand album in 2007 - has a brand-new record out with her longtime acoustic band, Union Station, and is hitting the road come early summer.

Paper Airplane was released on Tuesday, April 12. It's the band's first album in seven years.

The good news is that this fantastic band's itinerary, while it doesn't include Savannah (or even Charleston, for that matter) is bringing them reasonably close to us for a couple of dates. That'll be good news for those who believe (as I do) that Alison Krauss & Union Station is the best bluegrass band in America - and, with their multi-talented frontwoman, then some.

Here are the dates: Aug. 13 at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and Aug. 19 at the St. Augustine Amphitheater in Florida (that's just a few short hours south on I-95, and it's a sweet outdoor venue).

For the ambitious, Alison and the gang are also playing Cary, N.C. on Aug. 11, and in Asheville (that'll be a heck of a show) on the 12th.

Union Station includes Dan Tyminski (guitar, mandolin and lead vocals), the outstanding Jerry Douglas (Dobro and harmony vocals), Barry Bales (bass and harmony vocals) and Ron Block (banjo, guitar and harmony vocals).

Alison, you already know.

This is sure to be a sell-out tour; tickets will be going on sale any time time. Best to watch for that announcement.

Loo-tenant Dan!

Actor Gary Sinise (CSI: NY, Apollo 13, Ransom) and his Lt. Dan Band will play a free concert in Forsyth Park Friday, April 22. Sinise was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Lt. Dan in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, parts of which were filmed in Savannah. The free show starts at 8:30 p.m.